(this short story is in celebration of Carmen's birthday. Enjoy)
Mont St Michel
Two figures sat across from each other at a small table in a quaint little cafe; for the longest time they sat in amiable silence, enjoying the serenity of their surroundings. A knowing waiter brought out their usual order whilst the pair continued to converse as only two finely attenuated souls could.
His barely raised eyebrow was met with the faint glimpse of a smile gracing her ruby red lips. The briefest glimmer of curiosity passing through his eyes was answered by a mischievous glint in hers. If a speck of disdain should be found in his piercing eyes, she would reply with an elegantly raised eyebrow.
This most intimate of conversations carried on throughout their meal; every sip of coffee and each bite of a profiterole served merely as another step in their flirtatious dance.
Leaving a tip for their bemused waiter, the duo continued their graceful ballet; he grabbed his coat, she grabbed her purse; for every step he took, she took one in sync with his. To his credit, he knew when to stop so that she could pause and take in the sights.
Though they both had been here many times, each visit was always refreshing and intriguing for them. The freedom that this place afforded them was almost intoxicating; here there was no trench coat and no badge, no need for pretenses and no need for walls. It was their place, a location that was the closest thing to sacred to both of them; this place would be forever exempt from their usual games and instead serve as the annual ballroom for their most private of waltzes.
Each year the dance would end in the same place it began, down by the harbour, overlooking the sea; Standing side by side, they embraced the silent calm of the sea, reveling in the last vestiges of each other’s presence.
Today it was her turn to break the silence. “Thank you”.
It was just two words, the only two that she’d uttered all day, yet the depth of meaning behind those words was as wide and profound as the ocean before them.
“Your welcome” he replied.
The words were not perfunctory but filled with a torrent of warmth and sincerity even he had not believed himself capable of.
And then, she was gone, almost as if she had been carried by the winds into another realm. Upon his cheeks, the scarlet imprint of her lips were still visible; the only evidence that it had not been yet another dream.
Willing the winds to carry his words to her, he whispered three last words before he took his leave.
“Happy Birthday, Carmen.”
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